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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Uttarakhand floods: Confusion delays, impedes relief work

Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times  Dehradun, June 24, 2013
First Published: 00:11 IST(24/6/2013) | Last Updated: 02:17 IST(24/6/2013)

Pradeep and his friend, who have come from Barnala in Punjab to provide relief material, were seen arguing with CISF security guards outside Jolly Grant Airport.

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“Ham Barnala se aye hai… ap logo ne bataya tha Jolly Grant aa jana... per koi andar ane nahi deta (We have come from Barnala… you asked us to come to Jolly Grant airport… but nobody is allowing us to go inside),” Pradeep told a representative of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam on the phone.

“This is pathetic. A lady asked us to come Jolly Grant… now when we are here with the relief material… they are asking us to go to Joshimath (nearly 200 km away),” said a distraught Pradeep.

He was also told that the big truck, in which he had brought bread, rusk, biscuits, water bottles would not be able to move comfortably on the destroyed hill roads.

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Dehradun district magistrate BVR Purroshtam could not be contacted on the phone. Later a CISF security person said a new collection centre for relief material had been opened at Dehradun and the truck would have to go there.

“What can we do? There is a lot of confusion,” said a CSIF security person who was working hard to control queues of vehicles bringing relief material mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Satya Prakash Mangal from Kota said inquiries at Jolly Grant airport, where relief planes were landing and numerous calls to helplines, had given him no clue so far as to where his relatives were.

Meanwhile, a large number of trucks are seen before a relief material centre in Dehradun.

“One after  another trucks are coming from various places. It’s a hectic day,” said Shyam Mohan Sharma, an official. Even as senior officials are reluctant to receive calls, junior officials like Sharma are quick to respond.

“We have sent 17 trucks with relief material to the affected areas,” he said.

Back at Jolly Grant Airport, many relatives of the stranded and missing pilgrims complained that policemen deployed here were drinking in the night.

Relatives of the pilgrims have gathered outside the airport over the past seven days. IAF choppers are dropping stranded and injured pilgrims. Trucks and small vehicles with relief material are also coming here.

“I will look into the matter,” said Keval Khurana, SSP, Dehradun.


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